Something that is commonly overlooked in today’s age is the value of data storage and redundancy. In previous generations, families had shoe boxes or fire safes full of pictures and paperwork that they deemed valuable, now we just save all of these pictures on a cheap hard drive that has moving parts and a four year life expectancy and somehow we expect that data to stick around so we can pass it down to our kids. We built a file storage “server” that has drive space available over our network that is also mirrored onto another drive that is connected to that server for redundancy. My concern was while I believe that the data is safe and backed up what if something physically happened to the house like a fire or a flood. I decided to try making a wireless network attached storage device so we can backup that data to a remote outbuilding. For this I used an Asus RT-N16 router it has a great amount of storage space on it, a usb port and a lot of ram so its great for 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT.
We used a couple of these at work for random things so I knew it would be worth the purchase for this job. The firmware that I ended up using was the v24 mega release which means it has all the main features that DD-WRT supports. Some firmware that DD-WRT releases is carved down to specific jobs so it can fit on hardware with less storage space/ram ect. I had a Seagate external drive laying around that wasn’t getting used and it was enough space for what we needed so I decided to use that instead of spend more money on this mission.
After I flashed the router with the firmware i configured the wireless network as a client bridge and connected it to our network, then I turned on the USB support for the external hard drive and verified that it showed up on the router.
then under the NAS tab I set up the network share and created an account that has permissions to write to the drive
After I created the shared folder I mapped it in windows and then used backup maker which is a great freeware tool to create backups of folders. Scheduled it to go out once a week and copy the contents from our pictures folder and compress it into a zip file and then move them out to our remote storage. I still log in every once in awhile to verify that the backup has processed.